izi4u Software Solutions has releasedizi-Applicant 1.2, an update to its utility for managing data related to job applicnts. Version 1.2 adds the possibility to enter the applicants interview notes for each review session separately. Prices starting at $245. [Download - Classic, OS X] Sillysoft has released an update to Lux, its adaptation of the Risk board game. Version 2.2 brings network play enhancements, including the ability to have AI players in network games. Stability improvements (especially for MacOS 10.1 users) and a little speed increase, as well as an optional poof explosion are also present. Lux is $10 shareware, and comes with a 30 game trial period. [Download - 2.3MB] Stick Software today released version 1.0.1 of Trisection, fixing a compatibility problem with OS X 10.1.5 and earlier. Users who experienced problems with version 1.0 should download 1.0.1. Trisection is new puzzle game for Mac OS X that follows in the "grand tradition" of Tetris, involving fitting falling pieces into an existing matrix. "But in Trisection, you're matching up colors, not just completing rows." It is shareware, with a price of $15. [Download - 6.3MB]
Enigmo is a new puzzle game developed by Pangea Software and distributed by MacPlay. It features 70 levels (50 regular and 20 "kid difficulty") of "mind-teasing fun" as well as an editor that allows players to create games they can share with friends. The goal of the game is to use a variety of bumpers, sliders, accelerators, and sponges to redirect falling drops of water, oil, and lava into their appropriate containers. Enigmo is $25.
MicroNet Technology today announced the introduction of the new Platinum Professional product family, available with FireWire800/ USB 2.0 or FireWire400/ USB 2.0 interface combinations. Featuring speeds exceeding 56MB/Sec from a single disk drive, fanless design for silent operation, sturdy aluminum casing, and increased cable length capability of 100 meters, these new storage powerhouses offer "performance and flexibility never before seen without expensive RAID controllers," according to the manufacturer. It is compatible with Mac OS 9/X and Windows.
Gluon's updated ProPack library of Quark XTensions now includes 16 professional-grade XTensions at the reduced price of $200 (previously $350). The new "turbo-charged" ProPack includes: QC (pre-flight utility), QC Collect (document collection with Merge collect), ProScale EV (resizing utility), Cropster (crops, guides, arrows, folds, etc.), Linkster (unlink and relink text), ProGrids & Guides (creating grids and managing guides), ProGreeker (disables copy/text while editing), IDropper (Copy attributes), Reporter (reporting), Outlines, ShapeMaker, SpotCheck (switch between Spot and Process color), Bump City (bumping and nudging), DragIn Powerful (drag & drop to create catalogs and contact sheets), NaviZoom Navigate.
UserCreations today delivered Spring 1.3, a significant upgrade to its web-inspired universal canvas where users "interact naturally with singular, visual representations of the people, places, products, etc that define your life....'With new content like Movie, Food, and Music objects, direct canvas to canvas trading, and countless fit and finish improvements, UserCreations continues to deliver on the promise of a more human, less machine-like user experience.'" Spring includes direct canvas-to-canvas trading (via AIM), better Watson integration, drag & drop of rich and plain text, better browser and email client support, Safari bookmark integration, and other advanced features. Pricing is $22. A fully functional demo is available.
Aspyr today announced that it has sent 4th generation game SimCity 4 to duplication. The game features new simulation and graphics engines, new regional game play and the new ability to track the lives of individual Sims as they go about their daily routine: "...players experience new God-like powers of creation as they lay the groundwork for their cities by molding mountains, carving valleys, seeding forests and laying rivers. With these new landscape creation features, players can now construct the most realistic metropolis imaginable. Each city a player creates becomes part of an ever-growing tapestry of municipalities that, once connected by transportation networks, share and compete for resources." The Mac OS X-only game is available for pre-order for $50.
AJA Video Systems has announced Io, the first uncompressed audio/video FireWire capture device for Final Cut Pro 4, is now shipping to select dealers and distributors. On Saturday, June 14, Io will be shown at participating Apple stores including SoHo, New York, and The Grove, Los Angeles, during Apple's 4@4 kick-off event to launch Final Cut Pro 4. The high-end, 8- or 10- bit broadcast video device allows a user to connect professional analog or digital audio/video to an Power Mac G4 or PowerBook G4 via a FireWire interface. Io supports 10-bit component and composite analog video, SDI digital video, multiple audio formats including balanced and unbalanced analog, AES/EBU digital, optical ADAT, optical S/PDIF, RS-422 machine control, and genlock. The $2,300 breakout box carries a three-year, unconditional warranty. (Earlier today, we noted that Apple began shipping Final Cut Pro 4 for Saturday delivery.)
Other World Computing today announced the expansion of its Mercury Extreme product line to include G4/1.4-1.467GHz and G4/1.25-1.26GHz processor upgrades. OWC's Mercury Extreme processor upgrades are 'plug-and-play' solutions that do not use or require enabling software. Fully compatible with PowerMac G4 AGP-equipped models (350MHz to 1GHz), they act as replacements to the stock Apple G4 daughtercard and do not take up a separate PCI or AGP slot. Also included in each upgrade is a pre-installed, high-performance heat sink and an ultra-quiet cooling fan. Each unit comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, as well as a three-year limited warranty and an option for OWC to buy back the used processor being replaced. They are available immediately for $620 and $500, respectively.
Several MacNN readers report receiving confirmation notices from the Apple Store for Final Cut Pro 4, which is expected to available on June 14. Apple is offering free shipping (and Saturday-delivery) for orders placed from the Apple Store. The full version is $1000, while upgrades are $400.
MacNN reader Adam Yellin (and others) report that Quark representatives are not supporting the "next week" ship date announced for Quark 6, as noted by Apple earlier this week: "I just spoke to Quark about ordering the Quark 6 update and was told that Apple should not have posted that Quark 6 will be released next week. They said only that it will be released before July 31 and would not guarantee anything earlier."
Apple is being sued by The Open Group, the San Francisco company that claims ownership of the Unix trademark, for using the term Unix in conjunction with its Mac OS X operating system without a license, reports c|net: "Apple has countersued, asking a judge to declare that the trademark is invalid, because the term Unix has become generic. Though initiated nearly 18 months ago, the case has not yet gone to trial. According to a motion filed with the court Tuesday, both companies want to have an exchange of factual documents completed by August, with a trial sought for February."
Glucose today updated WeatherPop, its menubar weather utility. Version 1.8 adds a new data source, usatoday.com as well as improvements to WeatherPop's user experience--to better communicate when its retrieving data or to indicate problems with the user's connection to the Internet. It also includes numerous bug fixes, including accuracy improvements and speed optimizations. WeatherPop is free, while the $8 shareware "Advance" version provides forecasts, a color icon, favorite locations, and other advanced features. A 14-day trial is available. [Std, Adv]
Verax, makers of the MDD Silence Kits, is soliciting feedback from users of specific MDD Power Macs to solve a rare problem with its kits: "as you are probably aware, the Verax kit for the Mac has caused problems with some (actually very few) Macs. We would like to ask your users for assistance in solving this issue, which seems to affect only specific series of the MDD Macs....Our engineers worked overtime on this and we have a solution ready, but we need to test it now - and this is where the Mac community comes in. We can't get hold of the affected series of Macs anymore, therefore we'd like to ask all users to read the statement [and get back to us if applicable]."
DivXNetworks today announced the release of DivX 5.0.6. This new version of the DivX video format (in the form of a QuickTime codec) fixes several bugs, including one that prevented encoded video from playing in the VLC player. But most importantly, this version of DivX and DivX Pro includes a fix for the long-standing QuickTime issue that prevented the sound in AVI multimedia files with MP3 audio from playing properly. DivX is free, while the Pro version with a higher quality encoder/decoder, an MP3 encoder and MPEG-4 support is $20 (a 15-day trial is available). [Std, Pro]
AFP548.com has released VaporSec 1.0, a complete freeware IPSec configuration utility for Mac OS X. It uses the operating system's built-in capabilities to easily enable connections to a number of IPSec gateways and other OS X machines. It has support for X.509 certificates in addition to most any configuration option you can find in the racoon.conf file. The latest works with Check Point, SonicWall, Linksys, and Draytek routers and firewalls. The source code is available on request. [1.0MB]
Robust Digital Solutions today announced 'deeply discounted' pricing on all rack mount models. The G-Series rack mount model is "now one of the industry's lowest priced" hardware-based RAID 5 solutions. At $4,000, "the G-Series 720 GB rack mount is a great value", says Diane Christ, Marketing Director of Robust Digital Solutions, "capacities of 480 GB and 360 GB are available at even lower prices." Another rack mount RAID system, the 2U high K6 model, received a price reduction as well. The K6 RAID is available in 360 GB, 480 GB, 720 GB and 1 TB capacities with list prices starting at $4,400.
Now AAPL Stock: 102.95 ( + 6.28 )
Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE